Provide Memorable Service

Jeff McLanahan
Contributing Writer

When I ask managers how they would rate the customer service of their unit, I generally get answers such as very good or even great.  Then I ask for examples of this very good or great service and the manager either struggles for an answer or provides one that, in my opinion, is just regular service.

At this time, I share a story with them about the typical service I receive at restaurants.  My story goes like this:

I pulled into the parking lot, parked my car and went inside.  The hostess asked me how many were in my party, then grabs a menu and walks me to my seat.  The waiter/waitress then asks me for my drink order and when they return with it, they get my food order.  I receive my food in a timely manner and even get my drink refilled once during the meal.  I even get asked the question, “How is everything?”  When I finish my meal, I get asked if I would like the dessert menu (to which I certainly answer YES) and then I get my bill.  As I am leaving, I usually get a thank you for coming in.

Now I ask, ”What was wrong with that service?”  The answer is nothing.  Then I ask, “What was memorable about that service?”  The answer is NOTHING.

Does your service differentiate you from your competition?  Do you provide customer service training beyond “keep smiling” and “always say thank you?”

We all sell products.  We all wear uniforms.  We all smile.  We all say hello and thank you.  If these are the benchmarks, then we all provide very good or great customer service, which means we all provide the same service.

Train your team to provide memorable service.  What is memorable service?  This means something different to each of us, but conducting a brainstorming session with your team can quickly identify several specific examples of memorable service and a broad outline of what it can look like in your organization.

After that, start asking for and collecting stories from the team on delivering memorable service as well as notes from actual customers.  Share these examples at team meetings and be sure to recognize those that are providing this level of service.

Soon, when asked how you would rate the level of service your company provides, you can confidently state that it is great service and have examples to illustrate your point!


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